Thursday, August 31, 2006

Just in case you thought we were slackin'

We've been busy. Restaurants, emergency room, you know, vacation stuff but in between Doodles and myself have actually done some cooking. One item on her list of must-haves was fried chicken so I fired up the iron skillet (which is what our Grandmother, Emily Prucilla called a frying pan) and got busy with a chicken. Here's a recipe from a past post. Fried Chicken.

The liver didn't look good so I didn't fry it but the gizzard, upper left corner, was for the guest of honor. Frying chicken is a messy deal and I should have picked up some extra livers and gizzards because, to me, they're the best part.

No complaints from the family.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Fill'er up, ma'am?

Doodles and Mooncrazy are back, well sort of. We've been doing a bit of resteraunt review and a whole lot of eating.

A review for Ford's Filling Station in Culver City caught my attention in a recent issue of Sunset Magazine. I knew I'd seen that name and then remembered it was just west of Surfas in Culver City. I made a mental note to include that in our food explorations while sister Doodles was in town. Last night we were in LA and looking for dinner and we were not disappointed.

A small menu but everything sounded so tasty it was hard to decide. Doodles chose the Flat Iron Steak with spinach souffle and I settled with a Porterhouse Pork Steak and mashed potatoes. These were both fantastic choices. The steak was so tender it literally melted in your mouth and the pork, though not as tender, had such a wonderful rich flavor. I tried to eat it all, we both did the there was quite a generous portion of meat on both so of course some came home.

Desert? Of course. We tried the rhubarb crisp with vanilla cream. Quite tasty. The service is good with the manager coming by more than once to check up on us. Nate, what a nice guy and I hope he finds his Utili-kilt soon.

They don't have a website but there's loads of parking around the corner in a two-story structure with two free hours. And although we got there early, before 6:30, should make reservations. Near 7:00 it was filled and this was a Wednesday night.

9531 Culver Blvd. Culver City, CA 877-243-0925

Now we've done quite a bit of tasting so far and will have some posts on that but we both need to get back to cooking. Funny how you crave a little stove time on vacation.

Stay tuna'd

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

peach lush v 1.0

peach lush v 1.0

the lack of posts recently is due to the fact that the three of us were all in one place this weekend and actually doing things instead of sitting in front of the computer. on sunday, we had this dessert that was called "peach lush" at this restaurant on el paseo whose name escapes me. all i can say is...yum. it was a lighter version of a cheescake, with a pecan shortbread crust and topped with fresh peaches, as the name would imply. i have not been able to stop thinking about it, so i attempted to recreate it.

peach lush v 1.0

after tasting the finished product, it's good but not quite right. here's what i came up with for version 1.0:


16 pecan sandies cookies, crushed
4 tbsp. melted butter

mix together and press into a small (7") springform pan and bake at 350 about 10 - 12 minutes. cool.


8 oz cream cheese
4 oz milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 c heavy cream

beat cream cheese, milk, vanilla, powdered sugar until smooth. keep beating until some air gets incorporated and the mixture gets thick. in another bowl (alton brown would tell you to chill a metal bowl for this), beat the cream until stiff peaks form. mix 1/3 of the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture to lighten it. then fold in the remaining two thirds of the whipped cream in two batches (those are definitely a.b. instructions). fill the cooled crust with this mixture and chill thoroughly.


1 c water
1 c sugar
2 peaches

make a simple syrup from the water and sugar. peel peaches and remove the seeds. cut into thin slices. just when simple syrup comes to a good simmer, remove from heat and add peach slices. poach peaches in syrup for about two minutes then remove to a plate and drain off any excess syrup. chill peaches, then arrange on top of the "pie."

peach lush v 1.0

thoughts for next time: the crust and the toppings were pretty close. the filling was a little too mousse-y, though. the original was really firm and rich. i don't know if that was because there was more cream cheese or if it was just chilled longer. (as mooncrazy could tell you, i'm not the world's most patient individual, so if you guessed that i didn't let it chill that long, you'd be right.) i might also try beating the cream cheese and the heavy cream together or maybe add a little gelatin in the cream cheese mixture.

Friday, August 11, 2006


here's a cute snap of my maltese, multy, being all happy:

happy multy

he's my favorite!

attention foodie dog-o-philes: check out other food hounds at sweetnicks' weekend dog blogging.

Please be advised.................

that my dear sister moon is somewhat indisposed due to a slight injury to a couple of digits. Sweet niece little bird is busy, busy, busy at work. And I am trying my damndest to get ready for a trip that takes me to visit these two fine folk among others.

So things might be a tad bit slow on PBE till we can re-group and get it together........stay tuna'd

Thursday, August 10, 2006

afternoon delight..........

My sweet husband mentioned that we hadn't had an "us day" in awhile and since I am going away let's do something on Wednesday. I know that gas is at a premium but we got in his truck and just started to wander. Found our way to an unknown restaurant on the water, actually an inlet off the Gulf of Mexico. Unusually bright sun shiney day and not that humid. Restaurant looked quite nice, nothing fancy but at two in the afternoon the parking lot was crowded - good sign I say.

The menu was fairly normal with a couple of exceptions. I ordered a lobster and crabmeat salad on a croissant. It came with a lovely side salad of mixed greens and a tasty dressing of a lime and honey mixture. I took a picture..........I thought the waiter was gonna explode. He was immediately by my side asking "is everything all right"? I confirm that it was and explain briefly about PBE give him a card with the web site address so he knows I am not a mystery diner.

Jason the waiter wanders off and out comes the chef - Chef Sheryl to bring us a dessert - LOL The dessert was Lime basil sherbert - have heard about this sherbert as I think a fellow food blogger made this recently but I cannot remember who. We got to talking and tasting and I forgot to take a picture of the dessert but I took a photo that was on their a tad distorted - sorry.

The dessert was a lot better than this photo

Lime Basil Sorbet

1/2 cup Key Lime juice

1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup sugar
10 - 12 whole basil leaves coarsley chopped

Dissolve sugar in water over medium heat. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. When cool, pour simple syrup and lime juice in a blender and add basil. Blend well. Pour into shallow pan and freeze until firm. Remove from freezer when firm and put back into blender. Blend well a second time and re-freeze. When firm serve and enjoy!!!

A good day was enjoyed by us both for sure. Oh in case you are wondering the restaurant "Rumrunners Marina Grille" doesn't have a web site.........can ya imagine!!!
But a really pretty view out our window

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

T'is the season to be cheesy

This must be pizza season because Mixed Salad Annie made one as well. I was itching to try Pizza on the grill from America's Test Kitchen because it is still too hot to bake in the oven-- although I did make a batch of oatmeal cookies but that's another post.

Don't be put off by the seemingly long process, it's quite easy. What makes their dough better than buying it pre-made? They add oil to the dough so it doesn't stick to the grill and it doesn't. It cooks quickly and doesn't stick. I was amazed because I'd tried some Trader Joe's dough and wasn't happy with the performance.

The other trick is roll them out small, no bigger than 10 inches that way you can get them on the hot grill in one piece. See how nice and round mine look. Well look at the next photo. Something happens to change that nice round pie into a shape not unlike the continent of Africa.

This could also use two people because they really cook quickly. They only used cheese and tomato because the crust is thin and fragile. Next time I'm going to try some other pre-cooked toppings. A few mushrooms or olives wouldn't break this crust.

Cheese. They said Fontina was less watery which keeps the crust "snappy." I'd try mozzarella next time. I was looking for that nice salty taste.

Don't forget to poke the wee bubbles or when you turn it over they'll burn. You'll see in the last photo what I'm talking about.

This was fun to try and I will make this again, soon. I'm thinking appetizers for a party would be great.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

my favorite lazy weekend brunch

bite of caprese

we love us some caprese salad in this house. obviously, we modify it a bit with the bread and the salami, but the concept is the same. it's our favorite lazy weekend brunch. it's such an easy thing to prepare, yet it looks great and tastes even better.

plate of caprese & some stuff

this batch was made with fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil from our cropshare. let me tell you, this is what tomatoes are supposed to taste like.

sunday brunch spread

hope everyone had a great weekend!

A belated but special wish

To our friend Sylvie ...............
Sylvie we hope you had a very
special birthday week-end.
from the PBE women

Saturday, August 05, 2006


kimchi 2

so, i really love pickles and i really love spicy things, so, i pretty much think kimchi is the perfect food. my good friend mina told me once that i eat more kimchi than any girl she's ever seen. i like to think that was a complement! anyway, i buy it in jars at the asian markets, but it's expensive (about $2.99 for less than a pint) and it goes pretty fast. i've kind of always wanted to try making it at home, but i was a little intimidated. i was afraid that i'd basically be making homemade, spicy botulism. so, imagine my glee when i ran across kitchen wench's kimchi how-to on her blog. it was a family recipe (read: authentic) and the process was so well explained, it actually looked do-able! i couldn't wait to give it a try. so, off i went to k-town and the han kook market where i tried to find the smallest sack of chili powder they sold (i still have enough for three more batches) and all of the other ingredients (plus about 50 bucks of other korean favorites like laver seaweed, green tea noodles, pickled radish, bulgogi marinade and my favorite korean soda, milkis).

i followed kitchen wench's instructions to the letter; i wasn't leaving anything to chance. the only thing i did differently was to slice up the cabbage before i added the chili mixture at the end, as i didn't want to have to slice up messy giant kimchi leaves later. this is definitely a process, with a lot of waiting while things wilt, ferment, etc., but it's worth it. here's the kimchi jar after fermentation and a few days in the fridge...

crock o' kimchi

and here's the final product:

kimchi 1

it tastes soooo yummy! thanks, kitchen wench and kitchen wench's mom for sharing your recipe for kimchi lovin' pae-gin around the world to try. i will never run out of kimchi again!

If you still need another salad

We have a dear friend Dorothy Watanabe and this is her recipe. It couldn't be easier but sometimes it's the simple things in life that are the best. If it's hot I use a market variety roasted chicken, Costco being the best in my opinion, but you can use leftovers of poached. Lea at Copperpots has a good poaching method.

Chinese Chicken Salad
1 chicken cooked and deboned; chopped into bite size pieces
1 large head of iceberg lettuce; shredded
1 can of sliced waterchestnuts; drained and rinsed
2 bunches green onions; chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds

6 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup oil (part sesame oil)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons, or more to taste, of ground pepper
Shake and refrigerate

Mix all the ingredients together and pour over dressing to your liking.
Toss and serve immediately.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

a tasty rib eye

Sometimes ya just get the urge to chew on a big piece a beef….a good steak! Well we did that the other nite. I even BBQ’d between thunderstorms and believe you me that is a trick I have a stainless steel cooker. But that steak was just tempting me.

Nice juicy rib eye…………..but I thought not the usual sauce as in A-1 or HP, lets try something different. I was re-organizing my recipes the other day and going thru some magazines for keeper recipes. Just needed to lighten the load a bit. Well I came across this keeper from January Bon Appetit.

To make Wasabi-Garlic Cream, combine in saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1 cup, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
Whisk in and cook 1 minute:
1 - 3 tablespoons prepared wasabi
I get the wasabi in a tube at the Asian market
Remove sauce from heat.
Season to taste with salt if necessary

Completed the meal with oven-roasted veggies, peppers, zucchini, onion and some fingerling potatoes. But no oven was turned on for this meal, I did it all on the grill. And the skies opened up and poured upon turning off the grill…………perfect timing wouldn’t ya say.

Sauce is quite versatile - so use your imagination.

What’s your favorite cut of beef to grill and do you sauce it or eat it plain like the husband?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Diabetics; turn away now

After I made the marshmallows I felt the need to share them so I invited our friends Donatello and Blondie over for dinner. It was a casual outside dinner of stacked green chili and chicken enchiladas with black beans and a lovely green salad that Blondie brought.

I chose a bottle of sauvignon blanc and dropped a few fresh peaches in each glass. It didn't have the result I was looking for but what the hell, we drank it anyway.

After dinner darling husband set the fire pit ablaze and Donatello quickly made roasting sticks from a few hangers. We toasted the marshmallows and made S'mores. Ah, childhood memories. Calibut milk chocolate, graham crackers and lovely-gooey-melty-toasted marshmallows made for quite a dessert. More like a diabetic coma waiting to happen but fun.

Dontallo made a modification to the skewers to keep them from sliding off and because the S'mores were way too sweet, we ended up just toasting the rest.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Marshmallows and money: they don't grow on trees

I do like to try other food blog's recipes and this is my attempt at a good one I found on Baking Sheets. Nic's got quite the nice site. Seems she got it from someplace else but I'm not keeping track these days, way too hot. This recipe took a minimal amount of stovetop cooking and it looked fun. Everyone I've told has the same reply, "who makes marshmallows?" Well, someone has to, they don't grow on trees you see, so I gave it a try.

Was it fun?

If fun means getting completely sticky this was a ball. First don't forget to oil EVERYTHING! You might even throw a coat on the floor while you're at it. I had that goo everywhere. It's super easy albeit a bit time consuming getting all the cutting done.

They are wonderfully soft and not as sweet as the market tree-grown varieties. Next time I think I could get more creative with the outside coating, powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture but we has a great time making s'mores with them that night. I even took a dozen as a "get well."